Adam W. Hackel, a member of the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington, Pennsylvania, and the Band Director for Montgomery Middle School Upper Campus in Skillman, New Jersey, has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Mark DeWolfe Award. Dr. Hackel will be honored, together with the winner of this year’s Interweave Sermon Contest, at Interweave Continental’s annual banquet on Friday, June 22, at Justice General Assembly in Phoenix.
Dr. Hackel works with Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) and with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) at the state and national levels and serves on the Board of Directors of GLSEN-Central New Jersey. He is well known for his work with students, parents, educators, politicians, and community members throughout New Jersey to promote safe schools for all students regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Dr. Hackel, who has also worked with the Rainbow Room, an LGBTQ youth group in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, sponsors GLBT History Month projects and GLSEN’s National Day of Silence at his school, which was recognized for having the top middle school GLBT History Month project in the nation in 2010. Dr. Hackel also helps to train future school administrators about the importance of diversity, including diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity, and he is a tireless advocate for LGBTQ youth and school personnel.
During the past year, Dr. Hackel has worked with the GLSEN Student Leadership Team project to develop an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum for use in middle school social studies classes. This curriculum addresses issues including the development of the LGBTQ Civil Rights movement and the history of laws and court rulings that have expanded or curtailed the rights of LGBTQ individuals. Dr. Hackel also led a team of students from New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
Interweave Continental confers the Mark DeWolfe Award each year on a Unitarian Universalist who has substantially contributed to improving the lives of LGBTQ people, whether in or outside of Unitarian Universalist settings. This award was established to honor the memory of the Rev. Mark DeWolfe, the first openly gay minister in the Unitarian Universalist Association to serve a congregation.